Bulgarian charm

Bulgaria joined the EU this year and we were lucky enough to have a Bulgarian friend (Hello, Izzy!) in our house on New Year’s Eve. This meant not only that we celebrated twice (once at 11 and once at midnight, given the difference in local time), but also that we were given this Bulgarian good-luck charm. It’s about the length of my forearm, made of wood and wool and is, I think, particularly intriguing because it’s not just symbolic but actually, at least in part, genuinely edible. There’s a chilli pepper, a ring of bread, corn, both popped and unpopped, and what seems to be a double strand of sliced dried garlic. With a packet of pasta and some oil you’d have all you need to make a plate of spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino.

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